Old Town, Prague

4.5 out of 5 stars 137 Reviews

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    Havelske Trziste

    by Imbi Updated Nov 17, 2003

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    Havelske Trziste is one of the centres of attraction for most tourists. I would love to go there again as it was the place you find plenty of local foodstuff like seasonal home-grown fruit & vegetables, drinks and artwork, leather goods, flowers, wooden toys and delightful ceramics.
    It seemed to me that dry fruit were very popular there as plenty of people were buying them.

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    Gothic Door

    by bpwillet Written Mar 17, 2004

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    Rejsek's Gothic Door-Old Town Hall

    What is really neat about the Old Town Square and most of Prague is that there are little things to see everywhere you go. This Gothic door was designed by Matthias Rejsek as the entrance to the Town Hall. The interior of this entrance hall has been decorated in mosaics done by a Czech painter known as Mikulas Ales.

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    Tyn courtyard

    by german_eagle Written Nov 16, 2005

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    Tyn courtyard - Renaissance facade with loggia

    A very nice place is the Tyn courtyard - located right behind the Tyn church. This courtyard is surrounded by nice old townhouses, among them a wonderful Renaissance palazzo with sgraffito decorated facade and tuscan style loggia.

    Several cute shops, galleries and restaurants (see my restaurant tips) add to the charm of this quiet oasis in the otherwise busy old town.

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    For fans of the macabre: a mummified human hand

    by JessH Updated Dec 14, 2010

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    Mummified human hand, St. James Church, Prague
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    Just off the Old Town Square is the church of St. James / Jacob (Kostel St. Jakuba)... this beautiful church is tucked away in a corner and is easy to miss.
    Every year thousands of visitors walk into this church, gaze up at the richly decorated ceiling, snap a few photos and actually miss one of the most intriguing aspects of this church: a REAL mummified human hand!

    Legend has it that a couple of centuries ago a thief tried to make off with jewels adorning the Madonna. The statue grabbed his arm and didn't let go. Apparently the only way to free him was to cut his hand off... and to this day it hangs by the door as a warning to anyone who may have "sticky fingers"...

    Walk into the church and immediately look up to your right... there it is!

    Entry to the church is free and it opens at 10am in the morning.
    The church was originally constructed in 1373. The Franciscans Order commissioned this baroque church in 1689 after its 13th-century predecessor had burnt down.

    (In this church we again found an all-seeing eye, the symbol of the Knights Templar (visible all over Prague). It's situated above the altar.

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    clementinum

    by doug48 Written Jun 15, 2008

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    clementinum

    in 1556 emperor ferdinand I invited the jesuits to prague to promote catholism. they established their headquarters in the former dominican monastery of st. clement. they established a university in the 17th century. in 1773 the pope dissolved the order of jesuits and the university was secularized. today the clementinum is prague's national library. in clementinum's chapel of mirrors are frequent classical concerts that are open to the public.

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    st. gallus church

    by doug48 Updated Jun 17, 2008

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    st. gallus church

    in 1280 this church was built to serve prague's german community. the area around st. gallus was called gall's town. in the 14th century gall's town was incorporated into old town. in the 18th century the church was remodeled in the baroque style by giovanni santini aichel.

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    Traveling Solo? Take a walking tour

    by klmousseau Written Jan 6, 2009

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    I was there by myself in September and went on a "Free walking Tour".
    http://www.eurocheapo.com/blog/prague-free-walking-tours-every-day.html
    they met on the "northern" edge of the Old Town Square by a brown sign on the building on a corner to the right St. Nicholas church. The tour is "free", but the guides do request a tip at the end.
    The tour was interesting and they bring you to a lot of places you wouldn't find on your own; PLUS you can meet other travelers!
    They also have pub crawler tours, check with the local info center on the route from the Powder Tower to the Old Square.

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    church of st. francis

    by doug48 Written Jun 15, 2008

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    church of st. francis

    the church of st. francis was once part of the monastery of the crusading knights of the red star. the current baroque church was built between 1679 and 1686. today it houses an exhibition on the crusades. it's 1702 pipe organ has been played by mozart and dvorak. there are frequent classical concerts at the church.

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    An Art Nouveau palace along Masna

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Dec 17, 2006

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    Art Nouveau palace
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    Walking along Masna you can find you your left this wonderful Art Nouveau palace. It is characterized by a beautiful facade with paintings. To the center it is possible to admire the Virgin with Child, while to the sides Mars and Venus are represented.

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    Kostel sv.Frantiska

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Jan 14, 2007

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    Kostel sv.Frantiska
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    The Church of St. Francis belongs to the only Bohemian order founded by Sant'Agnes the Boems in 1252. During the Baroque period the order of the Riders of the Cross made an expansion of the church and they created a monastery. The today's aspect goes up at the end of the 17th century on the project of Jean Baptiste Mathey. In the dome there is a beautiful fresco of the Universal Judgment

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    Dum U Zlateho

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Jan 6, 2007

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    Dum U Zlateho
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    In an angle of the courtyard of Tyn you can see the beautiful Renaissance building called House To the Gold Ring, with a beautiful facade decorated with graffiti. Today it is a detachment of the Gallery Of The Town of Prague.

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    McGee's Ghost Tours of Prague!

    by JessH Updated Jun 13, 2011

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    Secret entrance to underground city (Prague)
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    Like so many ancient European cities, Prague also has a dark chapter in its history and when I had heard that Prague (like Edinburgh, for example) has an underground part of the city, a tour just had to be booked!
    You can either book the tour online (which I did) or approach one of the McGee's guides who advertise in front of the Astronomical clock every day.

    We met there in the evening and were greeted by a young and very friendly guide. He was obviously passionate about his city and the tour was very memorable thanks to his jokes and also personal insights.

    One of the main entrances to the underground city is actually through the Astronomical clock building, and you can only enter here with a licensed guide. Each of us was handed an electronic lantern, a large creaky wooden door was unlocked, and down the wonky stone steps we went...

    ...

    We got along really well with our guide, and upon hearing that my husband is an audio engineer he told us about a little-known and very special phenomenon at Prague castle... (more about that in a separate tip...)

    I'm not usually a fan of tours, but in some cases they are really vital so you don't wander "blindly" through a city missing out on so many interesting things, like the Black Madonna statues marking where Prague's Knights Templar temples used to be, and the amazing play of light and colour above one of the old entrances to the underground city (click on photos to see). The 2 lions were painted in such a way that with normal light, they looked like the surrounding stone. But if you held a lantern (or in our case, a camera flash) up against them, they shimmered in a golden colour, indicating a "secret" entrance to an underground area. He also told us about the mummified human hand inside the St. James church (see my Off the Beaten Path tip for that.)

    Our guide also told us the heart-breaking and chilling story of the life of Prague's most famous executioner: Jan Mydlar. This individual's tragic faith really stayed with me and affected me deeply.
    All in all, we enjoyed this tour immensely, and I would highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to know more about Prague's past.
    --> PRICE (year 2010):
    We paid 300 CZK per person for a "Ghosts & Legends of Old Town" Tour and as we booked online for a special offer, we received the Underground Walking Tour for free.

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    Stavovske Divadlo

    by Cristian_Uluru Written May 5, 2007

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    Stavovske Divadlo
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    The theater of the General States was built by the count Nostitz in 1783. It is a splendid neoclassic building and it is the mecca for the impassioned ones of Mozart: on 29th October 1787 was held the premiere of the Don Giovanni, with Mozart to the piano. In 1834 it was held the premiere of the musical comedy Fiflovacka to whose inside contains the Czech national hymn.

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    The Old Town

    by Marpessa Updated Dec 17, 2005

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    Old Town Square and the Cathedral

    When in Prague you will no doubt head to the Old Town and its main square. Although be warned as this is one of the hubs of tourism in Prague. But honestly, who can go past its beautiful large and open square, with magnificent and colourful buildings, the 14th Century Gothic Cathedral, the horse drawn carts, many restaurants, great shopping opportunities or the impressive astronomical clock! Plus just a short walk away is the Jewish Quarter and Charles Bridge (leading up to Prague Castle).

    Just watch your belongings though, as there are pickpockets in the area. But I'm sure you will be fine, and I am certain that walking around the Old Town and its area, that you will have a great time!

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    house at the two golden bears

    by doug48 Updated Jun 16, 2008

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    house at the two golden bears

    just off of melantrichova street on male namesti is the house at the two golden bears. this renaissance house is famous for it's 1590 portal designed by court architect bonifaz wohlmut. this portal is considered the best renaissance portal in prague. this building is not open to the public.

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